The new season for our junior rugby league team, Bassetlaw Bulldogs, is just round the corner and we have lots of news to share!
We get back underway on Saturday 7th March with a training session at 10.45-12 noon, followed by our awards celebration for last season, plus signing on session for the coming year. This event is being generously sponsored by the party hosts, The Fountain Hotel, in Tuxford and includes the provision of free pizza!
We are hoping to run teams at U7, U9, U11 and U12 age groups this year. We have some brand new rugby posts being put in place on our pitch during February which come courtesy of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 CreatedBy Capital Grants Programme.
Our chairman, Phil Abbott, has been working hard alongside the Parish Council and Playing Field Association to put together plans for the new changing rooms and communal area (including toilets for event days!). Talks are progressing well and together, we have already found in excess of £50,000 towards the project. We hope to have more news in the coming weeks, with a view to beginning the works once the remaining funding is in place.
Membership fees will increase slightly to £60 for the season, to cover our increased operational costs. These can be paid at the season launch event. They cover all associated costs, including transport, match day food, player insurance and registration fees. New members also receive a new kit free of charge!
This year, the Challenge Cup Final is at Wembley on 18th July, and we will be running our usual trip down to the London Junior RL Festival for U7-U11s. Once again, we welcome other East Markham residents to join us on that trip, as they have done in the past.
For further details about the Bulldogs, please see our website, www.bassetlawbulldogs.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our facebook page www.facebook.com/BulldogsRL/ or follow us on twitter www.twitter.com/bulldogsrlfc
The Kennel hosted the Bolsover Bulls for their first trip to East Markham on a dry, warm morning in Nottinghamshire. An opportune drop-in from former Wigan and Great Britain forward Phil Clarke was also a very welcome sight for both clubs as he wished the players well before they went into battle.
The younger Bulldogs age groups joined forces with their Bulls counterparts to play out a fun mixed-age tag rugby league fixture, played in excellent spirit. With coaches actively involved in encouraging and developing participation, smiles were abound. Congratulations to Freddie who made an excellent debut for the Bulldogs and well done to the Bulldogs players who sportingly donned the Bulls shirt to match the numbers.
At U11s, 8 of the Bulldogs players rotated playing for the Bulls, which lent itself nicely to involving all players in a very evenly matched contest. Indeed, McKenzie even crossed for the Bulls against his team-mates with an excellent try from dummy half, catching the Bulldogs asleep in defence!
Missing several players (to residential camp), the Bulldogs welcomed back Robbie after a stint on the sidelines and he soon got back into the swing of things. Making the most of quick play-the-balls, the Bulldogs were always a threat going forward, albeit lacking some of the width that had been worked on in recent weeks.
Both sides tried to play attacking rugby league, and whilst there were a few too many handling errors from both sides, it was good to see the endeavour. At 18-18, the game was well poised at half-time.
The second half saw the Bulldogs improve, although in truth, both teams were already strong in defence. As the game progressed, both teams upped the physicality and some great hits were put in from all angles. With daylight appearing between the two teams in the closing minutes, the Bulldogs had done enough to take the victory, despite a fine Bulls try on the final whistle. The game ended 32-22 to the Bulldogs, but, based on previous performances, both sides seem to have continued to improve their skill and knowledge of the game.
Thanks to our volunteers, including the coaches for their best direction and the officials for their best efforts. Thanks too to the supporters for their loud and encouraging voices!
Saturday 1st June 2019
The Bulldogs welcomed Immingham Wasps and Sheffield Warriors to The Kennel on a glorious day in Nottinghamshire. The sun shone whilst players from all the teams toiled in the hot conditions. Whilst fun was had by all, it was at times hard work in the sweltering conditions.
With the U7s and U9s buddying up with the Wasps to face Sheffield Warriors at both age groups, the games were played in excellent spirit. In particular, Jemima and Lily were influential in both attack and defence.
At U11s level, the Bulldogs fielded two sides to match up against Immingham Wasps in a round-robin fixture list.
In the first game, the Bulldogs Maroons matched up against Immingham Wasps and it soon became clear that the Wasps were better tuned in to the task in hand. The Bulldogs hadn't trained together for over a week and they were disjointed and lacking intensity. The Wasps on the other hand showed great determination and physicality to dominate the opening stages. Gradually, the Bulldogs came back into the game, once they had recognised the massive physical threat of one or two of the Wasps runners. More organised attacking salvos and increased defensive intensity gradually saw the Bulldogs stamp their authority on a tiring Wasps side. Memorable busts by Luca were followed up with excellent tries from Elliot B and Barney, the latter who sliced through the defensive line with a brilliant dummy, followed by a glorious shoulder drop to beat the full-back and breeze over under the sticks. The rusty Bulldogs came home 38-26, but were pushed all the way by a quickly improving Wasps outfit.
Game two saw the two Bulldogs teams match up. Once again, the Bulldogs Maroons were slow out of the blocks and it was the better rested Golds who stormed into an early 10-0 lead. Charlie W was a delight to watch with ball in hand. With the Bulldogs Golds taking advantage of a wilting Maroons team, it took a big effort from the Maroons to get back into the game, which they gradually did. Indeed, with only seconds on the clock and the scores locked at 22-22, they nearly stole the victory, but a tenacious last-gasp Golds tackle on the whistle meant that honours were shared.
In the final game, the Bulldogs Golds backed up against the Wasps, who were comfortable leaders for most of the game. The dominant Wasps (plus a few Bulldogs) finished the morning excellently and walked away 42-28 winners, but not before Charlie W scored another long-range try for the Bulldogs.
There was plenty to take from today's games, but defensive weakness remains the Achilles Heal for both Bulldogs sides. The attitude players need to show is seen in attack, but not in defence and the players will be required to improve that aspect of their game to succeed.
Sunday 19th May 2019
The Bulldogs travelled to North East Worcestershire Ravens for the first of 4 Midlands Summer Development Festivals, enjoying the challenge of playing against a number of teams at the U11 age group.
Taking enough to fill their own team roster and compliment another, the young Bulldogs side were made up of 4 Y6s and 8 Y5s, all of whom performed at the top end of their abilities.
The opening game against a huge Notttingham side was a tough first encounter. The very physical nature of the Nottingham Outlaws' opening 5 minutes caused the diminutive Bulldogs all kinds of problems. In losing play-maker Robbie in the opening minutes (and subsequently for the rest of the festival), the Bulldogs had to play their way into the tie. Luca seized the moment and gave the Outlaws something to think about with a flurry of barnstorming runs, and grabbed a brace to put the Bulldogs in front after conceding earlier. The Bulldogs steadily began to play around the tiring Outlaws pack and was it not for a bizarre late Outlaws try, could have taken victory. A draw seemed fair and the Bulldogs had already learnt much about themselves. Barney stood up to the plate in the absence of Robbie to ensure that the Bulldogs kept their shape in attack and Luca was unstoppable going forward.
Second up, the Bulldogs faced Bolsover Bulls. This match-up will hopefully be one of many to come in the future with the Derbyshire outfit. With the Bulls taking loan of a couple of our players, the Bulldogs were once again grateful for the dominant running of Luca who grabbed a hat-trick of tries before half-time. The resilient Bulls never gave up and scored a brace of tries themselves. With Elliot and Barney grabbing short-range tries before the final whistle, the mood was positive as the Bulldogs came home 5 tries to 2.
The third assignment was easily the toughest with a game against NEW Ravens. Their lightening pace and excellent tackling meant that the Bulldogs were given a real rugby lesson! It was pleasing to note that the Bulldogs gave their best until the final whistle, nursing a host of knocks, bashes and scrapes.
As the festival ended a little earlier than anticipated, a quickly arranged game with Bolsover saw the Bulldogs and Bulls finish the day with a cracking mix-and-match game, played in excellent spirits.
A huge thanks to the volunteers at NEW Ravens and the Midlands Junior Rugby League for an excellent day and best wishes to Robbie for a speedy recovery!
Saturday 30th March 2019
The Bulldogs started their 2019 season with a positive morning at The Kennel against Immingham Wasps and Sheffield Warriors.
For some, this was a debut in the claret and amber shirts, whereas for others, it was an opportunity to continue their rugby league development for a second season.
The U7s enjoyed a game against mixed sides from the three clubs, and everyone seemed to have great fun. At U9s, there were impressive displays from all of the team, playing together for the first time in this configuration.
At U11s, arguably Bulldogs' strongest age group, 15 players represented the team and all took it in turns to play for the opposition also throughout the morning. A bruising set of encounters of this age group had rendered a number of Wasps and Warriors injured, but they gamely continued with a few Bulldogs loanees.
The morning began with an U12s game, with 4 Bulldogs U11s joining the fun in a mix and match game. The Bulldogs team (with a couple of Wasps loanees) recorded a comfortable victory, as did the Bulldogs U11s, but as the scores weren't the most important aspects of each game, it was important that the 70 or so players present learnt more about the game, and a bout themselves.
As ever, we greatly enjoyed hosting our friends from Sheffield and Immingham and we very much look forward to meeting up later in the season.
A healthy representation of players, coaches and supporters celebrated the inaugural season for the village Rugby League team, Bassetlaw Bulldogs RLFC, on Saturday 16th February.
Marking a wonderful year, and in anticipation for the soon to follow new season, awards were shared in a range of categories to mark some outstanding achievements. Presented by resident Rugby League commentator, Bill Arthur, children were complemented for their commitment, attitude and personal development as a result of a glittering experience during the course of 2018.
Numerous games, both home and away were punctuated by some other fantastic experiences for the players. A trip to Wembley in August saw them compete in a nationwide competition, along with a walk around the hallowed turf of Wembley just before the Challenge Cup Final. Many of you will have seen them walk out as mascots with the England national team at their recent International with New Zealand, live on the BBC, whilst a visit to an East Markham training session by a host of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats players was a highlight for many.
The club has had a superb start to its life, under the leadership of founder Phil Abbott and his band of eager volunteers. Reaching over 30 children last season, the club is hoping to top the 50 mark during 2019. The club is hoping to run age groups from U7 to U12 in the new season, and training gets underway on 2nd March at 9.30am. Children aged 5 and above are most welcome at this family orientated club.
Please contact Phil on 07957 790750 or look at the club website, www.bassetlawbulldogs.co.uk for more information.